Excel Intro:
Icon: Excel 2002Icon: Excel 2003 Smart Tags

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want Working with Numbers: 2007,2010,2013,2016  or españolIcon: Change web

Another new feature for Excel 2002/2003 and the other Office XP/2003 programs is Smart Tags. These are handy popup buttons with context-sensitive menus. They can even help you manage tasks that you might normally have to use a different program to do.

In Excel, the indicator for a Smart Tag is a purple triangle in the bottom right corner of the cell. Smart tag indicator in a cell is a purple triangle in the lower right corner

Excel should recognize stock market symbols, like MSFT for Microsoft, and a person's name, if you have recently used Outlook to send that person an email.

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Numbers

Before you start...

Project 1: Excel Intro
   Interface To subtopics
       Task Pane Icon: Excel 2002Icon: Excel 2003
       Smart Tags Icon: Excel 2002Icon: Excel 2003
       footprintOpen Excel
    Select & NavigateTo subtopics
    Common TasksTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 2: Excel BasicsTo subtopics

Project 3: Format & ArrangeTo subtopics

Project 4: Groups & FormulasTo subtopics

Project 5: DesignTo subtopics


Using a Smart Tag

  • Move your mouse over the cell with a purple triangle to make the Smart Tags Actions button Button: Smart Tags Actions appear near the cell.
  • Move the mouse over the Actions button and a down arrow appears. Button: Smart Tags Actions - arrow
  • Click on the arrow and a menu of possible actions appears. This could be fun!

Button: Smart Tags Actions menu

Smart Tag and its Action options for a financial symbol

Other Buttons in Excel

Excel uses the same type of button and options menu for a number of Excel's own features. The exact options may vary depending on exactly what you just did.

  • Button: AutoCorrection Options AutoCorrect Options
    When Excel applies an AutoCorrection, the AutoCorrect Options button appears. Its menu offers to undo the autocorrection.
  • Button: Paste Options Paste Options
  • Button: AutoFill Options Auto Fill Options
  • Button: Insert Options menuButton: Insert Options menu Insert Options
    Menu items will vary depending on whether you are inserting a cell, a row, or a column.
  • Button: Trace Error Options menuButton: Trace Error Options Error Checking Options
    A green triangle in upper left of cell shows that Excel thinks your formula has an error. Click in the cell and then on the Trace Error icon.

Custom Smart Tags

You are not limited to just the Smart Tags that come with the software. Programmers can write as many Smart Tags as they can think up.

Example: FedEx offers a Smart Tag that recognizes a FedEx tracking number or a name and offers several helpful actions, like Track Shipments and Find Dropoff Locations. These will open a web page on the FedEx site to get the information.

Microsoft had a web page with links to sources for 3rd party smart tags but this feature is not available in newer versions so the pages have vanished.